Floyd Mayweather Jr has underscored once again why he is no ordinary fighter. With eight world titles at five different weights, the 36-year-old is widely regarded as the world’s best pound for pound fighter. There is of course a certain swagger that accompanies the ‘Pretty Boy’ and Mayweather has just added an extra dimension to his reputation by asking his fans to select his next opponent.
In an undefeated career so far, Mayweather has the luxury of being able to pick and choose opponents. As a result, he asked his legions of Twitter followers to choose who would be next up to face him in the ring, British fighter Amir Khan or Argentine WBC Welterweight champion Marcos Maidana? It is certainly a novel way of minimizing the role of all-important promoters. The Twitter poll is also about as close as boxing fans will get to the centre of the action, a whole lot closer than playing Rocky slots with the legendary boxer from the big screen.
And it looked like former-two time world champion Amir Khan is the people’s choice to take on Mayweather. The 27-year-old from Bolton would perhaps have been considered a natural opponent for Mayweather back in 2011, following an impressive five-round destruction of Zab Judah. However, two crushing defeats soon followed against Lamont Patterson and Danny Garcia. Perhaps the heated pre-fight hype ahead of the Garcia fight caught the public imagination?
Certainly, the idea of a fight between Mayweather and either one of Khan and Maidana is a mouth-watering prospect. Khana and Maidana went head to head at the back end of 2010 in what was judged by the Boxing Writers Association of America as the fight of the year. Khan knocked Maidana down in the first round but had to endure a furious barrage late on before holding out for a unanimous decision win. It is that type of excitement which will excite the fans if Mayweather and Khan do get it on.
Maybe Freddie Roach’s prediction that Khan’s quick hands would cause Mayweather problems also had an impact on the vote? Either way, it looks like Khan has got the rejection. With the Twitter poll having just been completed, Khan took 60 per cent of the vote. It was certainly harsh on Maidana who is coming off the back of an excellent win against the previously undefeated Adrien Broner.
However, if the build up to a Mayweather-Maidana fight is anything like the hype which preceded Mayweather’s previous encounter with a British fighter, then it will be worth the wait. Although Ricky Hatton put up a tenacious fight when the two met in Las Vegas in 2007, he could do nothing to stop Mayweather putting him down eventually in the tenth round to win the battle of the undefeated fighters. The fact that Mayweather still remains undefeated just underscores the nature of the task ahead of Khan. If the two do meet, Mayweather fans and possibly fight fans across the planet will hope that a victory for the champion could pave the way for another meeting with Mayweather’s nemesis, Manny Pacquiao.